Description: Though reduced to a platoon role, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard should be in the lineup Thursday afternoon because of a favorable matchup. Unfortunatelty, Darin Ruf is apparently getting the start.
Insight: Howard is a career .328 hitter (22-for-67) with seven home runs versus Giants starter Tim Hudson.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt experienced lingering concussion symptoms Wednesday, according to Andrew Baggarly of csnbayarea.com.
Insight: Belt (.238, 10 HR, 22 RBI) was hit in the face during batting practice Saturday and later exited the game with dizziness. Manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday that Belt was "making progress," but Baggarly reports that the Giants are "growing more concerned about Belt" after Wednesday's setback.
Description: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman came into Wednesday with one hit in his last 24 at-bats, zero homers since June 27 and three hits in 23 career at-bats against Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi, so of course he went deep off Eovaldi in the second inning.
Insight: It appears Freeman was "due." He'll try to keep it going Thursday against Henderson Alvarez (6-5, 2.64 ERA).
Description: Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Wednesday that the first base position "will be a day-to-day thing," according to Jim Salisbury of csnphilly.com.
Insight: The Phillies plan to get Darin Ruf playing time at first base in the coming weeks. "I'm interested to see what he can do," Sandberg said of Ruf. "I know what (Howard) can do. I've seen him for 100 games. I know what he can do. I think it's important to see what a guy like Darin Ruf can do also going forward." Howard has batted .141 over his last 21 games and his OPS is down to .682 on the year. He's still owed $60 million over the next three years.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a homer, three RBI and two runs Wednesday at Arizona.
Insight: It was his first homer of July. Cabrera has batted .315 with 80 RBI and 61 runs this season, but he's on pace for 25 home runs, down from 44 in each of the past two years. It would be his lowest total since he hit 12 in 314 at-bats as a rookie.
Description: Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Giants.
Insight: The Giants are starting tough lefty Madison Bumgarner, so Howard will sit while Darin Ruf starts at first base. Howard has picked up two hits in two straight games but hit .141 with two extra-base hits over his last 78 at-bats.
Description: Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo has hit five home runs in four games since the All-Star break.
Insight: Rizzo has gone off for eight homers in July and leads the NL with 25 on the year. He's rebounded from a .233 average, 23 home runs and a .742 OPS last year to hit .283 with a .924 OPS this season. His 67 runs rank second among first basemen.
Description: Rays first baseman James Loney is one of the rare hitters with a history of success versus Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
Insight: Loney is a career .462 hitter (12-for-26) with a 1.154 OPS against Wainwright. He's a non-power hitting first baseman, who can hit for a decent average and knock in runs when needed, but isn't an everyday fantasy option.
Description: Reds GM Walt Jocketty said Sunday that Joey Votto (quad) is still roughly five weeks away from returning. SOURCE: Jim Bowden, ESPN and SiriusXM
Insight: Votto (.255, 6 HR, 23 RBI, .799 OPS) has been dealing with a left quad strain since May. He spent nearly a month on the disabled list and batted .250 with zero homers and 11 RBI in 23 games after returning before going back on it on July 8.
Description: Yankees first baseman MarkTeixeira has gone 0-for-12 in his first three games after the All-Star break and 3-for-24 (.125) since his two-homer game on July 9.
Insight: Teixeira (.231, 17 HR) has been unable to overcome the rise of shifts around the league and is hitting a paltry .083 on ground balls this season. He also has just seven doubles and a career-high 19.5 percent K rate, so he's really become a home-run-or-bust player.
Description: Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche is in the midst of a 5-for-47 (.106) skid that has cut his average down by 34 points.
Insight: LaRoche has great numbers against Sunday's starter Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers -- 9-for-28, three doubles, two homers -- but fantasy owners should avoid him until he shows signs of coming out of his slump.
Description: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt left Saturday night's game due to dizziness, according to Giants beat reporter Andrew Baggarly.
Insight: Belt (.238, 10 HR, 22 RBI) hasn't played a lot breaking his thumb in early May and now this. He's likely to take Sunday off as well as a precaution after apparently he was hit in the face during batting practice.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is 12-for-24 with three homers and a 1.455 OPS versus Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber.
Insight: Cabrera is hitting .308 with 34 doubles, 14 homers, 75 RBI and an .899 OPS this season, but has struggled of late batting just .267 with an .817 OPS over the past four weeks. We expect more for him. We could get it on Saturday.
Description: For the third time since June 27, Miguel Cabrera has gone three straight games without getting a hit.
Insight: Prior to June 27, he hadn't gone more than two games all season without getting a hit all season. In fact, he only went more than two games without getting a hit one time all of last season, and one of those games he exited with an injury before getting an at-bat. Despite the cold streak to end the first half, Cabrera is hitting .306 with 34 doubles, 14 homers, 75 RBI and an .898 OPS this season.
Description: Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche is limping into the All-Star break.
Insight: LaRoche carried a .300 average for nearly the entire first half, but he's hit .139 in July and is down to .284 for the season. He's gone just 6-for-35 (.171) against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick, so he shouldn't be used Sunday.
Description: Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt loves facing Giants starter Tim Lincecum and so do his fantasy owners.
Insight: He's a career .577 hitter with seven homers and 17 RBI in just 26 at-bats. Goldy is having another fine season batting .312 with 16 HR, 61 RBI and a league-leading 193 total bases. He's always a must start when facing Lincecum.
Description: Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche is 11-for-28 (.393) with six extra-base hits against Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett.
Insight: LaRoche has been rock solid this season, batting .289 with 12 HR and 47 RBI. This may be his last season in Washington as he's only signed through 2014 and the Nationals need to find a spot for Ryan Zimmerman other than third base.
Description: Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is hitless in 10 tries against Milwaukee starter Matt Garza.
Insight: The best we can say about this matchup is that he's walked twice. Howard started the season decently, but his July has been a disaster, going 3-for-30 with no extra base hits and a .350 OPS. Keep looking.
Description: Indians first baseman Nick Swisher has homered in two straight games and he has two homers in 11 career at-bats against Brandon McCarthy.
Insight: McCarthy will make his Yankees debut Wednesday after coming over from the Diamondbacks in a trade over the weekend. Swisher is still hitting just .198 this season, but he could be a decent option Wednesday.
Description: Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera is getting the day off Wednesday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Cabrera has gone three games in a row without getting a hit twice since June 27 after not going more than two without one at any point this season, but he went 3-for-5 with a triple, two RBI and two runs Tuesday to snap a 0-for-9 stretch.